Creative dining comes this summer

Since John Brown University announced the decision to partner with Creative Dining Service as the new food service provider two months ago, decisions and changes continue as they make the transition to serving the campus full-time in June.

Glenda Haley, regional operations director for Creative Dining Services, has been on campus frequently in the days since the announcement.

“My role is to support the local managers to achieve their goals,” said Haley. “I will assure a smooth transition to CDS.”

Haley and Darrin Coon, chief human resources officer at the University, have been working very closely. Together, Creative Dining and the University are in the process of hiring the new food service manager, who will oversee the daily operations.

“Great care needs to be taken to hire the right people,” said Haley. Coon explained that they are interviewing a few candidates and are not in a hurry to make a decision because they want it to be the best one possible.

Haley is committed to overseeing opperations until the director is hired.

In addition to hiring a new manager, Haley said, “Creative Dining Services will be offering jobs to all the hourly employees that would like to stay on at JBU. We understand the importance of the hourly employees and the role they play in the success of the operations.”

Haley is also working closely with Steve Brankle, director of facilities services and sustainability, and Steve Beers, vice president for student development, on the construction aspects of the transition.

Most may have noticed the huge sheets of black plastic draping a back wall on the left side of the cafeteria since students returned from spring break.

“Behind the big black wall will be the ‘Taqueria’ concept, opening next fall,” said Haley. “Taqueria is made to order Mexican, [where students] will be able to choose from burritos, tacos, wraps, nachos and salads, plus toppings and sides.”

In addition to the Mexican food, Haley said, “Next year expect more fresh, made-to-order items, a new gluten free and vegetarian station, an Emma and Charlie’s Pizza concept and lots of great customer service.”

As the summer quickly approaches, Creative Dining is visiting with each department to become more familiar with the needs of the University, and is working with events to make sure all the summer camps and catering are being planned.

“Creative Dining Services is proud to be partnering with John Brown University,” Haley said. “We are excited about all the opportunities and look forward to getting started!”